Good artists never really die; their fine work keeps their name alive forever. That’s the case with this beautiful bracelet.
Richard Begay was one of the best, relatively unsung jewelers for decades, inspired by his mother’s weavings to work in overlay designs combined with natural stones.
Sadly, he was lost to us a few years ago, but now and then – like now, here – we come across a piece of his that has evaded notice.
The large, beautiful, natural Tibetan turquoise at the center is such a bold and colorful accent that you might almost miss the exquisite overlaid silver work, on either side.
On one side, a nicely detailed scene of traditional Navajo life is shown, over a textured and slightly darkened background.
Clouds at the top are dropping rain on a butte and cliff, with a full-leaved tree. A sun and moon are shown in the sky.
Below these, a nicely detailed hogan sends a plume of smoke into the air, with an unfinished rug on the loom, under a ramada.
At the bottom, a trio of graceful cornstalks stand tall. Rain promotes the harvest of corn, the Native staff of life, enabling the family to live a happy and healthy life.
On the other side of the tranquil, green stone, we see one tall, robust cornstalk, surrounded by streaming rain falling from the clouds gleaming above.
The background silver is more robustly textured than on the other side, and left natural, not darkened. The overlaid cornstalk, clouds, and rain are polished, like the edges of the cuff.
Amazingly delicate and graceful forms and a charming scene of bygone life, are joined by that gorgeous stone, in a dramatically appealing bracelet. Thank you, Richard!